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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 99-11-06

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Simitis: Greece to promote its aims during Clinton visit
  • [02] G. Papandreou at Harvard: Loss of int'l credibility with Yugoslavia bombings
  • [03] Simitis to address Socialist International conference in Paris
  • [04] Commission's Barnier in Athens next week
  • [05] Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline discussed by Simitis, Kostov
  • [06] Stephanopoulos to visit Slovenia
  • [07] Papazoi will travel to Sydney
  • [08] Gov't meeting on security during Clinton visit
  • [09] Rokofyllos-Burns meeting
  • [10] Kyprianou in Athens
  • [11] Simitis cites Athens' hope for improved relations during talks with Turk ambassador
  • [12] Karamanlis attack on gov't policies
  • [13] Onassis Foundation on Athens court decision
  • [14] Bomb defused at sporting goods store
  • [15] Former minister died
  • [16] Eurofighter on display at air base
  • [17] Culture ministry dismisses press report over damage to Temple of Hephaestus
  • [18] --- Nine of the 14 illegal immigrants who died in a ferry boat

  • [01] Simitis: Greece to promote its aims during Clinton visit

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday stressed that during President Bill Clinton's visit on Nov. 13 the Greek government will project its positions and will promote its aims.

    Mr. Simitis was speaking after a series of meetings with the leaders of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), the Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) and the Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI).

    "We desire a more active support in our efforts for peace and stability in the region, the respect of all for international law, a solution to the continental-shelf issue and the resolution of the Cyprus problem," the prime minister said, adding that he was going to bring all these matters to President Clinton's attention.

    "We will achieve our targets through dialogue and reasoning, we are not going to achieve our targets through hostility or confrontation or our absence from developments or refusal. The marginalisation of our country is harmful to our interests. It also harms the prestige of our country and embarrasses us. (It is) an attitude contrary to the rules of hospitality and reciprocity," Mr. Simitis said, indirectly referring to the demonstrations planned during the US president's stay in Greece.

    "In the next few days the world mass media will turn their spot lights on Greece. The international public opinion will follow this visit" he said, stressing the need for "the projection of a real and positive picture of contemporary Greece, of a democr atic and orderly state".

    Replying to questions over the possibility of terrorism being raised as an issue by the US side, Mr. Simitis said it "has been repeatedly discussed with the US in the past. We will reiterate once more that the Greek state is making every effort to restr ict, to control and crackdown on such instances. This is our fixed position, our fixed intention, this is what we work for and we do not accept any challenges by anyone over our intentions or our efforts".

    Replying to a question in relation to a planned march to the US embassy, the prime minister said that the reply to this question should be given by the political parties, adding that "we want to ensure, as much as possible and in every way possible, th e peaceful expression of any other opinions, as prescribed by the Constitution. The Constitution commands this peaceful expression, and I mean peaceful". New Democracy

    On its part, the main opposition New Democracy party will not take part in mobilisations protesting the US president's visit, ND leader Costas Karamanlis told a meeting of his party's central committee yesterday.

    Mr. Karamanlis said Mr. Clinton's visit provided an opportunity for upgrading bilateral relations with the US and for alerting the American administration to the dangers entailed from destabilisation in the Balkans and possible changes to the existing b orders.

    He called on the government to clearly put forward Greece's national issues, adding that it should speak "responsibly and not in whispers" because "half- words are not suited to proud peoples".

    Mr. Karamanlis said Turkey, which was the region's "international troublemaker", did not deserve to be rewarded, adding that "we do not beg for, but demand that an end be put to the occupation of Cyprus; that the threats of violence stop and that intern ational law and the acquis communautaire be respected". He said it was in Turkey's interests to be a part of Europe, and Greece was prepared to help its neighbour in such a choice, "provided the conditions set by Greece and Europe are met".

    Mr. Karamanlis also accused Mr. Simitis government of following a policy of concessions that was nationally harmful and increased the possibilities of aggravation and crisis. Opposition

    KKE leader Aleka Papariga warned after her meeting with Mr. Simitis that whoever thought they can engineer a provocation during the demonstrations her party will organise during Mr. Clinton's stay in Athens "will be losers themselves".

    "With the same care it is showing for Mr. Clinton, the government should safeguard the people's ability to express their credo towards the superpower. The government should safeguard the conditions for the people's free expression," she said.

    Asked whether her party believes that Mr. Clinton should not visit Greece, Ms Papariga said the president of the US "is undesirable but, of course, there is the government which is inviting him to talk with him, but there are also the people who want to demonstrate their opposition".

    Coalition of the Left leader Nikos Constantopoulos said the issue for his party was what Mr. Clinton wants to bring to the table, what the government's positions are and what the consequences will be.

    "I did not become wiser on these issues," he said, referring to his meeting with the prime minister. "Consequently", he added, "Clin-ton's visit constitutes in essence a repetition of (George) Bush's visit" in 1992.

    Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas expressed concern that Greece would be pressured to waive its right of veto at the EU summit in Helsinki in December to enable Turkey to be unconditionally declared a candidate country for EU ac cession. He also expressed concern over the course of the Cyprus issue and Greek-Turkish relations.

    Mitsotakis calls for Yugoslavia issue to be promoted during Clinton visit

    US President Bill Clinton's upcoming visit to Greece is a very significant political event and Greece should try to reap as many benefits as possible, former New Democracy PM Constantine Mitsotakis said yesterday.

    Mr. Mitsotakis, the honorary leader of the main opposition ND party, also said the Balkan problem should be put before Mr. Clinton during his visit in Athens, noting that without Yugoslavia's participation, peace and stability in the Balkans will not be secured.

    He also called on Prime Minister Costas Simitis P and indirectly on the leaders of opposition parties P to shoulder their responsibilities in order to "avoid harmful and dangerous excesses and exaggerations".

    "The leader of any country who comes as an invited guest deserves respect and courteous treatment. This is a rule in international relations and a tradition in Greece, all the more so when the visitor is the leader of a friend and ally and the only supe rpower in the world today. These cannot be overshadowed by our smaller or bigger disagreements with US policy on our region," Mr. Mitsotakis said.

    "The Cyprus issue and Greek-Turkish relations will naturally be at the centre of the Greek government's talks with the American president. But it is also necessary for Greece to put forth the Balkan problem in these talks, and particularly the problem o f Yugoslavia, as it is an undisputable fact P and there are indications that this reality is ever-incre-asingly being realised internationally, even on the other side of the Atlantic P that without Yugoslavia's participation peace and stability cannot be ensured in the Balkans," Mr. Mitsotakis warned. He also said Yugoslavia must go ahead as soon as possible with "honest elections, with all the necessary international guarantees", and the outcome of those elections "must be recognised by all, regardless of what the result of the elections is".

    "Greece must undertake an initiative in that direction and become once again, in action and not in words, a decisive factor in the developments in the Balkans," Mr. Mitsotakis concluded. Athens News Agency

    [02] G. Papandreou at Harvard: Loss of int'l credibility with Yugoslavia bombings

    BOSTON (ANA - G. Angelopoulos) - Foreign Minister George Papandreou presented Greece as a force of stability and development in Europe and the Balkans during an address at Harvard on Thursday.

    He also outlined what he called a new vision for the Balkans which, as he noted, "we are building slowly but with certainty."

    "The political aspects of globalisation are those which will pose the major challenges of the new millennium," he said, underlining that political globalisation requires consistency in the international community's action.

    "In order to maintain universal credibility, the international community will need universal principles by which it can be gauged and assessed," he said, and mentioned as an example the assumption of action in the Balkans where "a community in Kosovo wa s expelled by force and crudely from its homes" and another country, Yugoslavia, was bombed, while in Eastern Timor, where systematic force also existed, "the international community watched nonplussed."

    "In bombing Yugoslavia, the international community, or at least a considerable portion of it, adopted a bold stance on a moral dilemma - it stated that human pain cannot be subdued to state sovereignty," he said, adding that "this stance had the dynami sm to become a universal principle. However, we did not implement it in other regions."

    Mr. Papandreou explained that in imposing sanctions on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the international community used human pain (that of the Yugoslav people who are suffering from these sanctions) to achieve a political target (to overthrow an "a uthoritarian political leader", Slobodan Milosevic).

    "In this way the universal principle was revoked and in the same way a major part of the international community's credibility. East Timor and Cyprus constitute equally clear proof of inconsistency in proclaimed universal principles," he said.

    "The need to democratise globalisation is universal and the European Union constitutes a regional effort to democratise globalisation," Mr. Papandreou added. Athens News Agency

    [03] Simitis to address Socialist International conference in Paris

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will depart for Paris today to participate in the 11th Socialist International conference, while on the sidelines he is scheduled to meet with France's political leadership.

    The conference, set to begin on Monday, will elect its new president and will consider approval of the "Declaration of Paris".

    On Monday, Mr. Simitis will address the conference.

    PASOK Secretary Costas Skandalidis, Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Alternate Foreign Minister Christos Rokofyllos will be among the Greek delegation to the conference.

    Mr. Simitis is also scheduled to meet with French President Jacques Chirac on Tuesday. Athens News Agency

    [04] Commission's Barnier in Athens next week

    European Union Regional Policy Commissioner Michel Barnier will pay a short visit to Athens on Nov. 12.

    The French EU Commissioner is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister George Papandreou to discuss issues pertaining to the inter-governmental conference and innovations in institutional affairs, in view of the European

    Union's expansion.

    He will also meet with National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou to discuss regional policy issues.

    Mr. Barnier was in Athens last month to visit the areas hit by the Sept. 7 earthquake. Athens News Agency

    [05] Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline discussed by Simitis, Kostov

    SOFIA (ANA - V. Mourtis) P Prime Minister Costas Simitis' meeting here with his Bulgarian counterpart Ivan Kostov yesterday reportedly resulted in progress on the long-delayed construction of a Burgas-Alexan-droupoli oil pipeline.

    The one-hour meeting P shortened due to Mr. Simitis' scheduled meetings with Greek political leaders in Athens ahead of US President Bill Clinton's visit - with the Bulgarian premier apparently focused on the project, a marked change from Sofia's previo us stance. Sources said Mr. Kostov estimated that a pipeline to bring Caspian Sea oil to the Turkish port of Ceyhan would probably not proceed.

    Also playing a factor were reports of Turkey preparing to increase charges of passage through the Dardanelles Straits. The only difficulty at the moment appears to be related to the agency to be created to manage the project.

    The Greek side has proposed the creation of an agency with Greek, Bulgarian and Russian participation which will undertake talks with producers. The Bulgarian side is reported to be warming to this proposal.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Stephanopoulos to visit Slovenia

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will conduct an official visit to Slovenia on Nov. 10-12 at the invitation of Slovenian President Milan Kucan.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos will be accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoris Niotis, a press release by the presidency said.

    On Monday, Mr. Stephanopoulos will inaugurate an exhibition in Munich on Greek-Bavarian relations. Athens News Agency

    [07] Papazoi will travel to Sydney

    Culture Minister Elizabeth Papazoi will travel to Sydney on Monday for talks with the New South Wales government.

    Ms Papazoi will have talks with New South Wales State Premier Bob Carr, Olympic Games Minister Michael Knight and other state officials.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] Gov't meeting on security during Clinton visit

    Security measures during US President Bill Clinton's upcoming visit to Athens were discussed yesterday during a high-level government meeting chaired by PM Simitis.

    Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou, Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis, Public Order Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis and government spokesman Dimitris Reppas participated in the meeting.

    Afterwards, Mr. Reppas said the itinerary of Mr. Clinton's visit to Athens will be ready on Wednesday, while he expressed his certainty that any planned protests will be peaceful, nor will anything emerge to hinder or create problems during the visit.

    Earlier, the public order ministry hosted a meeting to brief FBI agents over Mr. Clinton's security during the visit. Athens News Agency

    [09] Rokofyllos-Burns meeting

    Alternate Foreign Minister Christos Rokofyllos yesterday received US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns for talks on Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus problem, a press release stated.

    In light of US President Bill Clinton's upcoming visit to Greece, Mr. Rokofyllos briefed Mr. Burns on developments in Greek-Turkish relations focusing on talks between high-level officials of the two countries and Greece's position on issues at the Euro pean Union summit in Helsinki, according to the foreign ministry press release. Athens News Agency

    [10] Kyprianou in Athens

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos yesterday received Cypriot House of Representatives Speaker Spyros Kyprianou for talks on developments in the Cyprus problem.

    No statements were made afterwards. Mr. Kyprianou, who is in Athens to participate in a conference on the continuing Turkish occupation of Cyprus, had earlier met with his Greek counterpart, Apostolos Kaklamanis.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Simitis cites Athens' hope for improved relations during talks with Turk ambassador

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday received Turkish ambassador to Athens Ali Tinaz Tuygan, in reciprocation of a visit by Greek envoy Ioannis Korantis to Turkish PM Bulent Ecevit.

    The Greek premier expressed Athens' hope for the development of bilateral relations and Greece's support for Turkey's European orientation, while he reiterated standing Greek positions regarding Greek-Turkish issues, the Cyprus problem and EU-Turkish re lations, a press release from the premier's office stated.

    On his part, the Turkish ambassador conveyed to the Greek premier Mr. Ecevit's wishes for an improvement of bilateral relations.

    According to sources, during the meeting Mr. Simitis also referred to recent statements by Turkish Defence Minister Sabahatin Tsakmakoglu regarding so-called "grey zones" in the Aegean, stressing that such statements do not facilitate the further improv ement of Greek-Turkish relations and are "counter-productive".

    According to the same sources, the Turkish ambassador also expressed Mr. Ecevit's satisfaction over Mr. Simitis' scheduled visit to Istanbul during the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit and over progress in the ongoing Gr eek-Turkish dialogue over "low level" issues. Athens News Agency

    [12] Karamanlis attack on gov't policies

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis yesterday severely criticised government policies during an address to ND's central committee.

    Mr. Karamanlis said the government was in a "state of panic", which he said is proven by its repeated promises for public sector hirings.

    He also accused Prime Minister Costas Simitis of populism, reminiscent of politicians during the early part of the century. Athens News Agency

    [13] Onassis Foundation on Athens court decision

    The Athens-based trustees of the Onassis fortune on Thursday said they would appeal an Oct. 21 Athens first instance court decision which awarded 80 million drachmas to Thierry Roussel and 20 million drachmas to each one of them.

    "The injury for insulting the reputation of each one of the members of the Board of Directors is equal to one fourth of the injury suffered by RousselIThe reputation of Athina's father is protected in order to protect the psychological and physical deve lopment of his daughter. Injuries to the psychological and physical development of the children and the descendants of the four administrators were not taken into consideration," the release said.

    The last surviving heir of the vast Onassis shipping fortune, 14-year-old Athina Roussel, will inherit an estimated 600 million US dollars on her 18th birthday.

    The four Greek administrators and Mr. Roussel, who comprise the five-member Board of Directors of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, have long been at odds over the management of Athina's legacy.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Bomb defused at sporting goods store

    Bomb disposal experts yesterday defused an explosive device found in a metal box inside a NIKE sporting goods outlet in the Nea Smyrni district.

    Police said the metal box and bomb had been planted next to the ventilation system in the store, located on the corner of Eleftherios Venizelos and Makarios streets.

    According to reports, authorities were alerted after anonymous callers phoned the Athens daily 'Eleftherotypia' and a private radio station to warn of an impending explosion. Athens News Agency

    [15] Former minister died

    Former minister Georgios Papadimitriou died on Thursday and was buried at the Athens Third Cemetery yesterday. Born in Aetoloakarnania prefecture in 1916, he was elected a Parliament deputy with the Centre Union party in 1963 and was re-elected in 1964. H e also played a leading role in the founding of PASOK, being again elected to Parliament in 1974. In 1985 he served as transport and communications minister. He left politics in 1989 and devoted the last decade of his life to the restoration of historica l monasteries and religious monuments in his native region of Xiromero.
    Athens News Agency

    [16] Eurofighter on display at air base

    The spearhead of the European aviation defence industry's hopes, the Eurofighter, roared into Greece for a publicity tour on Thursday evening, landing at the Tanagra Air Base.

    "I feel lucky to be the first pilot to fly the Eurofighter over Greece," pilot Chris Warning said.

    "The view of the Acropolis and Sounion from the air was unbelievable. I am very happy that the Greek public will be able to see up close the airplane which will be the spearhead of European defence in the new century".

    The Eurofighter is in Greece to mark celebrations for the Hellenic Air Force's patron saints. It will be on display for the public at Tanagra until tomorrow. Tomorrow, it will conduct an aerial display.

    The Eurofighter in Tanagra is a DA5, equipped with ECR90 radar, and first flew in February 1997. In May 1999 it made its 1,000th flight.

    Athens earlier this year entered into negotiations for the purchase of 60- 90 "fourth-generation" Eurofighters.

    The Eurofighter is expected to enter service with the Hellenic Air Force after 2005, when the warplane is expected to go into mass production.

    The defence ministry is also looking into the financial terms under which Greece could participate in the Eurofighter's production programme.

    The Eurofighter consortium groups include British Aerospace, Daimler-Benz Aerospace AG (DASA), Italy's Finmeccanica and CASA of Spain.

    The respective governments have each agreed to purchase a specific number of a total of 620 Eurofighters. Athens News Agency

    [17] Culture ministry dismisses press report over damage to Temple of Hephaestus

    Conservation efforts on the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens did not damage the surface of the structure, the culture ministry responded yesterday to a published report in the London-based 'Times'.

    The report, which appeared in the newspaper following an investigation by several Greek experts to the British Museum, where they examined possible damages to the Parthenon Marbles, stated that the temple popularly known as the Thession underwent simila r "cleaning" by Greek workers.

    The ministry, however said that the project was under the auspices of the American School's Classical Studies department.

    "The conservation work applied a salt's removal technique via mechanical means, employing careful procedures - sensitive intervention, soft strikes following wet saturations of the salts without the use of acids, cleansers or chemicals, which could have destroyed the elements of the relief," the statement read. Athens News Agency

    [18] --- Nine of the 14 illegal immigrants who died in a ferry boat

    fire on Monday evening were buried at the Patra municipal cemetery yesterday in a common grave.

    Dozens of Kurds attended the funerals, arriving in coaches hired by the municipality, while a representative read an excerpt from the Koran at the service.

    Another two of the dead were identified by relatives as an Albanian couple. Their bodies will be transported to Albania. Athens News Agency

    Inflation rises to 2.2 pct in October The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in October from the previous month, driving year-on-year consumer price inflation to 2.2 percent against 2.0 percent in September, the National Statistics Service said yesterday.

    The NSS attributed the CPI's increase to a 1.1 percent rise in clothing and footwear and a 0.6 percent rise in food and non-alcoholic beverages.

    The year-on-year inflation rate was 4.7 percent in October 1998.

    Nikos Karavitis, NSS's secretary-general, said he expected the European Union harmonised consumer price index, a criterion for the country's entry into the euro zone, to fall below 2.0 percent in October.

    Harmonised CPI figures will be released in the next few days.

    Mr. Karavitis also said there was a major decline of 0.5 percentage point in October's core inflation. Athens News Agency Group gets management of Duty Free A consortium of firms from Greece and abroad yesterday won a tender for the sale of a 25.25 percent stake in Hellenic Duty Free Shops and its management.

    The tender was conducted by Agricultural Bank of Greece, which owned the stock.

    An official of the bank told Reuters news agency that the winning consortium was led by Kappe of the Netherlands and includes Sarantis, Elmec Sport, Folli-Follie and Germanos, all of Greece. Athens News Agency Olympic Airways to launch 3-yr recruitment drive Olympic Airways plans to hire one thousand specialised staff in the next 3.5 years to meet staff shortages and avoid higher overtime rates, OA chief executive Rod Lynch said in Thessaloniki yesterday.

    Speaking at a press conference as part of the Philoxenia '99 tourism trade fair, Mr. Lynch said the airline's problems were based on deficits that had hindered the airline from renewing its fleet, and on the low quality of services that caused passenger s permanent frustration.

    OA's chief executive, however, expressed his optimism over the chance of reversing the current negative situation, and predicted that by 2002 Olympic Airways may have returned to profitability.

    He declined to comment on reporters' questions about the company's performance in 1999 but said that the cost of its 6,800 employees and 300 seasonal staff represented 38 percent of total costs, a percentage likely to fall in the future.

    Mr. Lynch said that OA's main problem was not the number of staff but low revenue, a poor sales policy and the low level of communication with the public.

    The priority of OA's board was for the national carrier to cover 25-30 percent of all air transport in Southeast Europe, aiming to rise to 40 percent.

    The construction of an airport for Athens at Spata and the improvement of Macedonia airport in Thessaloniki were the means of achieving this goal.

    Olympic Airways plans to link Athens with all large European cities with two daily flights, and smaller cities with one daily flight.

    Thessaloniki will be Greece's airgate to the Balkans with flights to several Southeast European cities along with direct flights to several large European cities, Mr. Lynch said.

    He hinted that loss-making destinations would be dropped and predicted that Greek private airlines would soon be led to mergers, acquisitions or closure. Athens News Agency Budget in line with goals, Papademos says Next year's budget is consistent with the goals of monetary policy and euro zone entry in 2001, if spending keeps within limits, Bank of Greece governor Lucas Papademos told reporters yesterday.

    Mr. Papademos was speaking after a meeting with National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou.

    The central bank governor said there were encouraging signs from a decline in core inflation in October.

    He also noted that commercial banks had kept their interest rates steady, vindicating the central bank's forecast a few weeks ago when it cut its short-term rates.

    The central bank would not lower its rates again in the near future, Mr. Papademos added. Athens News Agency Stocks end the week sharply higher Equity prices ended the last trading session of a subdued week sharply higher, pushing the market above the 5, 600 level on the Athens Stock Exchange.

    Positive developments in the domestic bond market and renewed buying activity in smaller capitalisation stocks were the main reasons for the recovery of the market.

    The general index ended 1.57 percent higher at 5,617.65 points. Turnover was a moderate 317 billion drachmas.

    Sector indices ended as follows: Banks (+1.53 pct), Leasing (+5.44 pct), Insurance (+0.99 pct), Investments (+1.58 pct), Construction (+2.74 pct), Industrials (+1.88 pct), Miscellaneous (+1.13 pct) and Holding (+0.29 pct).

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks jumped 3.49 percent while the FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks rose 1.24 percent to 2,818.98 points.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 248 to 77 with another nine issues unchanged.

    A total of 52 shares ended at the day's 8.0 percent limit up while Olympic Catering ended at the day's limit down.

    Macedonian Spinning Mills and Intralot were the most heavily traded stocks.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 22,000 drachmas, Alpha Credit Bank at 24, 980, Commercial Bank at 23,500, Titan Cement (common) at 40,700, Hellenic Petroleum at 4,995, Intracom at 14,445, Minoan Lines at 9,900, Panafon at 3, 845 and Hellenic Telecoms at 6,780. Derivatives post higher turnover The Athens Derivatives Exchange set a record yesterday in its brief history with turnover exceeding the four billion drachma mark.

    A total of 762 contracts changed hands worth 4.3 billion drachmas with the December 1999 future at the focus of investment interest.

    The November 1999 future ended at 2,847.28 points, the January 2000 contract at 2,892.13, the March 2000 contract at 2,930.46 and the September 2000 future at 3,033.82 points.

    ADEX's board has implemented a new settlement measure in an effort to boost liquidity in the market. Athens News Agency Bonds sprint ahead, drachma rises Secondary market bond prices yesterday gained around 60 basis points in buying interest still fuelled by hopes of a realignment of the drachma's parity in the European Union's exchange rate mechanism II, traders said.

    Active in the market were institutional investors from abroad, who would benefit from the rumoured alignment in the near future, which monetary authorities have denied will occur.

    Prices yesterday regained end-September levels before the market slumped, in one session hitting zero turnover.

    The benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 6.52 percent taking the yield spread over German bunds to 157 basis points.

    Electronic trade was light to moderate at 45 billion drachmas. Sell orders accounted for the bulk of turnover.

    In the foreign exchange market, demand for drachmas continued on talk of the impending adjustment of the currency's central parity in ERM II.

    The demand nudged up the drachma against the euro in regular trade, and in after hours buying.

    At the central bank's daily fix, the euro was set at 328.550 drachmas from 328.650 drachmas in the previous session. The dollar jumped against the drachma.

    The US currency was set at 316.120 drachmas from 313.480 drachmas a day earlier and 316.040 drachmas on Friday. Athens News Agency Greece to tender 10-year bonds Tuesday The finance ministry announced yesterday that it will tender 160 billion drachmas of 10-year bonds on Tuesday.

    The bonds in paperless form are a re-opening of the original January 29 security. The coupon is 6.30 percent. Athens News Agency

    Tax evasion rampant in the northeast The financial crimes squad recently carried out spot checks on 306 enterprises in northeastern Greece, revealing 58 major violations.

    The audits by the squad, which belongs to the finance ministry, were conducted in the prefectures of Evros, Rodopi, Xanthi, Kavala, Drama and Serres. For the first time, no violations were found in Drama.

    In 43 instances, companies had not issued tax office-authenticated receipts. In another five, purchase and sale invoices were lacking.

    There were 10 cases of bogus tax data, three businessmen refused to allow tax officers to check their accounts, and 14 informal accounting books and other documents were confiscated for further investigation.

    As of today, uniformed tax officers will step up checks on vehicles in the area to search for illegal supplies of fuel and heating oil.

    Violators will face steep fines, while more serious cases will be dealt with in court.

    Last month, the spot checks were extended to major liquid fuel outlets in eastern Macedonia and Thrace and other regions of northern Greece. Athens News Agency "That's Life" for GNTO abroad The slogan for a new publicity campaign by the Greek National Tourism Organisation abroad is "That's Life". The campaign, which was presented in Thessaloniki yesterday, was well received by the National Tourism Council. The meeting was chaired by Developm ent Minister Evangelos Venizelos.

    Athens News Agency

    Figures show low rate of suicide among Greeks

    Renowned for living hard and dying late, Greeks nevertheless aren't immune from depression and some do take their lives, although in much smaller numbers than other Europeans.

    According to experts, some 500 suicides are recorded in Greece annually. The majority of these occur in the provinces and mostly among the rural population.

    The figures were announced during a press confernce in light of an international meeting on suicide prevention in Athens, set for Nov. 7- 10.

    However, Greeks nevertheless continue to be less susceptible to suicide than other west European or Mediterranean peoples.

    Hungarians, Austrians, Croatians and Slovenians are most likely in that order to take their own lives. In Sweden, suicide is the leading cause of death for the 15-44 age group.

    Experts said that suicidal tendencies affected four women for each one man, but that suicides by men outnumbered those by women four to one.

    The age groups most susceptible to suicide were the adolescent and post- adolescent periods. Suicide was also high among the elderly, particularly if they suffered from some chronic disease or illness.

    A profile of the likely suicide would include people who have attempted to kill themselves at least once in the past, those who suffer from depression or other psychological disorder, as well as those who are alone and feel desperation.

    The conference will have experts presenting studies from around the world, indicating that suicide is linked to seasonal changes P a suicide is more likely at the beginning of spring and summer as well as mid-autumn P and by the prevailing conditions in a country.

    A study showing that in China suicides have increased over recent years among women and not men will also be raised at the conference.

    'Concealed suicides' will also be discussed - that is deliberate taking of one's life but difficult to be formally declared as suicide. They include people who choose to drink and drive to end their lives. Experts say the difficulty in categorising thes e types of suicide lies in that after an accident it is extremely difficult to determine whether the person killed intended to commit suicide. Athens News Agency Veteran journalist Kamvysis dies

    Veteran newspaperman Pavlos Kamvysis died yesterday at the age of 76. Born in Athens in 1923, Kamvysis started his career in 1950 with the 'Akropolis' daily, before moving on to 'Apogevmatini' and 'Eleftheros Typos', as well as for the Athens News Agency, the press general secretariat, the Airline News and the Antenna radio station.

    The Athens Journalists Union (ESHEA) issued an announcement extending condolences to Kamvysis' family.

    In a statement, government spokesman and Press Minister Dimitris Reppas lauded the veteran journalist and offered condolences his family. He said Kamvysis "served journalism from many responsible posts "with faith in his ideas, beliefs and with particu lar zeal." Athens News Agency Athens Foreign Exchange Bank of Greece closing rates of November 5, 1999

    Banknotes           Buying Selling
    US Dollar          313.591 320.862
    Can.Dollar         214.411 219.382
    Australian Dlr     199.610 204.238
    Pound Sterling     508.797 520.594
    Irish Punt         413.835 423.430
    Pound Cyprus       565.460 578.570
    Pound Malta        741.284 772.171
    Turkish pound (100)  0.060 0.062
    French franc        49.686 50.838
    Swiss franc        201.897 206.578
    Belgian franc        8.079 8.267
    German Mark        166.641 170.505
    Finnish Mark        54.816 56.087
    Dutch Guilder      147.896 151.325
    Danish Kr.          43.848 44.865
    Swedish Kr.         37.551 38.422
    Norwegian Kr.       39.521 40.438
    Austrian Sh.        23.686 24.235
    Italian lira (100)  16.832 17.223
    Yen (100)          297.531 304.429
    Spanish Peseta       1.959 2.005
    Port. Escudo         1.626 1.664
    
    Foreign Exchange                    Buying Selling
    New York           313.591 320.862
    Montreal           214.411 219.382
    Sydney             199.610 204.238
    London             508.797 520.594
    Dublin             413.835 423.430
    Nicosia            565.460 578.570
    Paris               49.686 50.838
    Zurich             201.897 206.578
    Brussels             8.079 8.267
    Frankfurt          166.641 170.505
    Helsinki            54.816 56.087
    Amsterdam          147.896 151.325
    Copenhagen          43.848 44.865
    Stockholm           37.551 38.422
    Oslo                39.521 40.438
    Vienna              23.686 24.235
    Milan               16.832 17.223
    Tokyo              297.531 304.429
    Madrid               1.959 2.005
    Lisbon               1.626 1.664
    
    Athens News Agency

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